Netanyahu’s hostage envoy said to ‘lecture’ EU diplomats over their support for Oslo

Gal Hirsch, the government point man on missing and kidnapped citizens, speaks during a meeting with relatives of Israelis kidnapped by Hamas and missing Israelis in Tel Aviv, October 13, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Gal Hirsch, the government point man on missing and kidnapped citizens, speaks during a meeting with relatives of Israelis kidnapped by Hamas and missing Israelis in Tel Aviv, October 13, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s newly appointed hostage envoy Gal Hirsch reportedly yelled at a group of European ambassadors during a meeting earlier this week because of their governments’ support for the Oslo process.

Hirsch used the opportunity to give a “political lecture” on Israeli-Palestinian relations over the past several decades, blasting the European Union for backing the peace process and pressuring Israel to show restraint against the Palestinians, ambassadors present tell the Haaretz daily.

“Instead of asking us how we can help in releasing the captives, he came to reprimand us for an agreement signed when none of us were in office,” one of the envoys says.

“There is hardly a country in Europe that isn’t trying to help with the abductees’ issue in some way or other,” another ambassador says.

“Many of us are in constant contact with families of abductees who hold dual citizenship. We want to help, and we don’t need political lectures.”

Hirsch, a once-promising senior IDF officer, resigned from the military over a damning inquiry into his conduct during the 2006 Second Lebanon War. He came under intense scrutiny and criticism in the wake of the abduction of two Israeli soldiers on the eve of the war in an area under his command, as well as for his leadership style during the war.

In 2015 he was nominated by then-police minister Gilad Erdan to serve as police chief, but his candidacy was sunk over suspicions of illicit business dealings.

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